Dear Fan at the Football Game Who Called My Son a “Jerk”

Dear Fan in the Stadium Who Called My Son a “Jerk” During The Football Game,

As his mother, I would like to address you now because it’s taken me a few weeks to calm down and no longer have visions of turning around, marching up the bleachers to your seat and physically throwing you down the stairs. Let me take this opportunity to share a few things with you.

If you knew my son at all, the term “jerk” would NEVER even cross your mind. As a matter of fact, you are the ONLY person I’ve ever known to use this term to describe him…and you don’t even know him!

When a football fan yells at college players
Parents, please behave at your kids’ games.

Let me tell you some things about my son. He has been playing football in his current position since the age of 7. He absolutely LOVES the game. He is a leader and highly respected among his peers.

My son does not deserve to be called a jerk

He would give his last dime to someone he felt needed it more than he. He has a kind heart and loves God and his family with every fiber of his being. When his team loses, he blames only himself for the role he played, but also uses it as a learning experience to get better.

That said, he is not perfect. After all, he is still a 20-year-old young man who is trying to learn his way through life, friendships, relationships, academics, career goals, social life, etc. Who is perfect at that age? Isn’t college the time to make mistakes in a safe environment…including college athletics?

Is he being paid to play at this stage? No! He is a young athlete who is going to make rookie mistakes, but will get better with experience and time.

Now, back to you calling him a “jerk”. So, because the football game was not going the way you wanted or you felt he should’ve made a different play, you decide to call him a “jerk” out loud in a stadium with family and friends of the players all around.

Some things you should know about my son and us

Did you even stop to think that maybe this was…

1) the first time we had seen our son in months

2) that we had driven 17 hours to see our boy and were very proud of him for playing football and managing to do well academically at a very high-performing school

3) that his 11-year-old brother who was sitting next to me, had missed school to take a trip to see his big brother and heard you call him that word…the brother who he looks up to and beams with pride over when he talks about him to his friends and teachers

4) that his dad who was sitting next to me probably could “take you” if he wanted to but remained civil and encouraged me to ignore “stupid” comments.

Yes, I realize you are passionate about your team. Yes, I realize college athletes are playing at a higher level, but they are still young people who are playing for the love of the game and are not paid professionals.

Give them a break, watch the things you say and be sensitive to their families who are sitting around you.

The definition of a “jerk” is…”a contemptibly obnoxious person, who is not well-liked or one who treats other people badly.” So tell me Mr. Fan, who is really the “jerk” here, you or my son?


One Proud Mom

The author of this post wishes to remain anonymous.

More to Read:

Saying Goodbye to the Sideline

Gifts for College Students: 18 Favorites Your Kids Will Love

About Grown and Flown

Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa (Endlich) Heffernan are the co-founders of Grown and Flown the #1 site for parents of teens, college students and young adults, reaching millions of parents every month. They are writers (Lisa is a New York Times bestselling author), moms, wives and friends. They started the Grown and Flown Parents Facebook Group and are co-authors of Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults (Flatiron Books) now in paperback.

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